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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Genneva sells gold and is not a ponzi scheme, says firm

Wednesday July 15, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Genneva Sdn Bhd, a company that sells gold coins and bars to the public, said its business model is not a fraudulent investment operation.

“There may be Ponzi schemes in the market but it is obvious that Genneva is not one of them,” group senior manager Tony Yao said.

“We have a uniquely profitable, viable and sustainable business because our product which is gold is a safe haven in any time of uncertainty and is not subject to wild fluctuations in price in the world markets,” he said in a statement in response to Monday’s StarProbe article.

He said Genneva’s business model “enables customers to purchase physical gold at a discount” compared to domestic market prices.

The company also provided a conditional buy-back guarantee for the purchase at the same price that the customer had paid for the gold.

“What we do is we share our profits with our customers,” Yao said.

He said Genneva sources its gold needs from the international market, where prices can be lower by as much as 17% compared to the recommended retail selling prices by the Federation of Goldsmiths and Jewellers Associations of Malaysia.

The firm then sells its own issued gold coins and bars to the public at a discount compared with prevailing market prices set by the federation. It still would make a profit on these sales.

“We also provide a conditional buy back guarantee for our purchasers who may want to resell their gold after buying it. We are able to generate continuous income from our profits made from trading gold to enable us to repurchase gold from our customers if they wish to sell it back to us,” Yao said.

Under the scheme, Genneva’s obligation is to buy back the gold at the same price without discount after a so-called 90-day holding period. There is a week’s grace to sell the gold back to Genneva. Any sale back to Genneva before or after 97 days will be at lower prices to be negotiated.

Yao said Genneva gave a discount of around 5% on the domestic market price set by the federation. The discount is paid either at the time of purchase or up to three months after that in instalments.

Yao said Genneva guaranteed the standard and purity of all gold coins issued by the company as 99.9%. This means customers can also sell their gold coins or bars purchased from Genneva at any goldsmiths that accept gold trade-ins.

“Gold is expensive to sell because goldsmiths generally give you a lower price than actual market value when they buy from customers,” Yao said.

In the statement, Genneva said the company’s business of buying and selling physical gold does not require a licence to operate from Bank Negara.

“Genneva is no more than an ordinary goldsmith shop with an extraordinary business model,” Yao said. On June 28th, the group formed Samudra-GV Sdn Bhd with “a vision to open up the gold market to Malaysians of every race and religion by making the product available to people from all walks of life.’’

“In the near future, our gold product will be rebranded as SGV Bullion,” the statement said

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